The Toast of New York (1937)





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Allegedly based on two factual works, Bouck White's The Book of Daniel Drew and Matthew Josephson's The Robber Barons, RKO's The Toast of New York is a largely fanciful account of the career of 1870s financier "Jubilee Jim" Fisk. As played by Edward Arnold in his usual "tycoon" mode, Fisk was a likable scoundrel who finagled his way into the upper rungs of Wall Street as much for fun as for profit. The film conveniently ignores Fisk's involvement with the infamous Tweed Ring, and skims over his complicity in 1869's "Black Friday," one of the most disastrous events in American economic history. We are also offered a sanitized version of Fisk's notorious mistress Josie Mansfield, who as played by Frances Farmer is an apple-cheeked lass who regards Fisk only as a loyal friend. Cary Grant is along for the ride as "Nick Boyd," a thinly disguised version of Fisk's actual partner in crime Ned Stokes. Too costly to post a profit, Toast of New York is nonetheless fine non-think entertainment, kept alive by a superb supporting cast ranging from Donald Meek as Daniel Drew and Clarence Kolb as Cornelius Vanderbilt to such bit players as Laurel & Hardy perennial James Finlayson, who plays the inventor of a self-tipping hat!
Classics , Comedy , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Warner Home Video

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Edward Arnold
as James 'Jim' Fisk Jr.
Cary Grant
as Nick Boyd
Frances Farmer
as Josie Mansfield
Jack Oakie
as Luke
Donald Meek
as Daniel Drew
Thelma Leeds
as Fleurique
Clarence Kolb
as Cornelius Vanderbilt
Bob McClung
as Bellhop
Marie Marks
as Check Room Girl
Ginger Connolly
as Call Boy
Joseph De Stefani
as Headwaiter
Lloyd Ingraham
as Man in Restaurant
Ted Thompson
as Man in Restaurant
Jack Luden
as Man in Restaurant
Reed Howes
as Man in Restaurant
Wally Dean
as Man in Restaurant
Jay Eaton
as Man in Restaurant
Fred Lee Own
as Bostonian in Restaurant
Crauford Kent
as Board of Director
Otto Hoffman
as Board of Director
Winter Hall
as Board of Director
Frank Darien
as Board of Director
Earl Dwire
as Board of Director
George Cleveland
as Secretary
Ben Hall
as Inventor
James Finlayson
as Inventor
Frank Swales
as Inventor
Foy Van Dolsen
as Inventor
Lon Poff
as Mountaineer
Frank Hammond
as Mountaineer
Nelson McDowell
as Panhandler
Clem Bevans
as Panhandler
Jack Kenney
as Deputy Sheriff
Christian J. Frank
as Deputy Sheriff
Robert Dudley
as Janitor
Mary Gordon
as Charwoman
Dewey Robinson
as Beefy Dolan
Reginald Barlow
as Hotel Proprietor
Stanley Fields
as Top Sergeant
Jack Egan
as Reporter
Mike Jeffries
as Reporter
Lynton Brent
as Reporter
Max Wagner
as Reporter
Jack Carson
as Reporter
Eddie Hart
as Reporter
Bentley Hewlett
as Reporter
Homer Dickinson
as Toastmaster
Pete Gerrard
as Painter
Ed Heim
as Painter
Sidney Bracey
as Waiter
Maxine Hicks
as Mother
Oscar Apfel
as Wallack
George Irving
as Broker
James Barnes
as Broker
Walter Murray
as Broker
Tom O'Grady
as Broker
Jack Mulhall
as Broker
Hal Craig
as Broker
Gavin Gordon
as Southern Major
Edward Peil Sr.
as Gentleman
Malcolm Graham
as Gentleman
Gladden James
as Gentleman
Allan Cavan
as Board of Director
Clarence Harvey
as Board of Director
Lionel Belmore
as Board of Director
Tom Ricketts
as Board of Director
Edward J. Le Saint
as President of the Board
Harvey Clark
as Tailor
Russell Hicks
as Lawyer
Nick Thompson
as Italian Driver
Joyce Compton
as Southern Girl
Virginia Carroll
as Southern Girl
Allen Greer
as Southern Cracker
Tyrone Brereton
as Southern Cracker
Frank Hemphill
as Stage Hand
Tom Chatterton
as Fisk Broker
John Marshall
as Fisk Broker
J.C. Fowler
as Buyer
Jerome Storm
as Little Broker
John Maurice Sullivan
as President of Exchange
James Quinn
as News Butcher
Tom Coleman
as Sergeant
Richard Kipling
as Southerner
Billy Gilbert
as Portrait Photographer
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Critic Reviews for The Toast of New York

All Critics (1)

A hokey fictitious biopic.

Full Review… | June 17, 2013
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Audience Reviews for The Toast of New York

You can lie faster than a horse can trot. Jim Fisk and his two friends are notorious robbers who recently stole a lot of confederate bonds and hope to exchange them for control over gold on Wall Street. They pair with a gullible train company owner and ultimately spin their bonds into control over all of the gold in the United States, but will riches destroy the group of friends and Wall Street? "Are you an inventor or are you hungry?" "Yes." Rowland Lee, director of The Count of Monte Cristo, The Son of Monte Cristo, Captain Kid, Son of Frankenstein, Powder Town, and One Rainy Afternoon, delivers Toast of New York. The storyline for this picture is well done and contains wonderful characters. The cast delivers awesome performances and includes Cary Grant, Edward Arnold, Frances Farmer, Billy Gilbert, and Donald Meek. "What are you going to do with my wife?" "Don't worry I'll buy you two more." I came across this upcoming movie on Turner Classic Movies (TCM) and had to DVR it. This was so fun. This is a classic movie fan's dream with dynamic over the top characters with a sly and crafty Cary Grant with his witty one liners and playful performance. I am a big fan of this movie and would recommend it strongly to classic movie fans. It may not be Grant's best movie, but it's a classic Cary Grant performance. "There are some things you want more than anything in the world that you know you can't have." Grade: B

Kevin Robbins
Kevin Robbins

Based on an actual person, but very Hollywoodized. But it is a very entertaining film, with Edward Arnold doing an exceptional job. He is such an under appreciated actor. Cary Grant does well in an early role for him. Good story, blessed also by the presence of Frances Farmer. A fine classic.

James Higgins
James Higgins

I usually don't like saloon type movies, but this was pretty good because I liked seeing Frances Farmer. When she would make her motions and expressions, it reminded me so much when Jessica Lange played her in the movie "Frances". Jessica Lange did such a great job playing her.

Susan Nieto-Butterman
Susan Nieto-Butterman

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